Sunday, August 01, 2010

Hawk Lake, Quebec

This post is one that I hope will get comments long after it is posted. I am looking for anyone that has any memories of visiting Hawk Lake, Quebec, in the town of Mulgrave-et-Derry. I’d like to hear from anyone that knew the family of Ralph Yank. This is where I used to spend my summers when I was a kid. I now live 3000 miles away and I doubt I’ll ever travel back there, but I do have fond memories.

I did correspond with a Yank relative a few years back and learned a lot, but I’m sure there are people such as myself that visited the lake back when there were only ten houses on it, four of which belonged to Ralph. Drop me a line and share some photos if you can. Even if this post is years old, the replies still go to my email address and I’ll get back to you quickly.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Not many people can do that. You are one of the very few that I know of. Once again you have left me with utterly nothing to say. How do you do that?

11:18 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

You'd have to have been there.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Kristen Barrick said...

My grandfather began staying the sometime before the 40's. He started as a kid with his family. My grandfather was born in 1921. They would go every summer - after he was married he took his family - they rented from the Yanks for 2 weeks every summer, and there were 2 cottages the Yanks rented at the time - or at least that is what my mother remembers. My mother shares stories of no electric and a wood burning cook stove - a refrigerator well ice box that you would get a block of ice from the ice house that would keep your items cold for the week. The ice came from the lake - the yanks would cut it out of the lake for the following seasons renters. She tells stories of work horses that came in the morning that they would feed carrots to and homemade breads and pies they got daily from the yanks. Transportation to the cottage was a little gray boat, and hopefully you brought your own engine! Lots of fishing was done. I love to listen to the stories and have often thought of taking my family - I just know I would get the same experience my mother and grandfather did or if these cabins even exist anymore. I am sure thru the years it has become very commercialized.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Kristen Barrick said...

My mother has shared stories of spending 2 weeks there each summer, renting a cabin from the yanks. My grandfather started going as a child. He was born in the 20's. My grandfather loved the quiet of it. He was a salesman, and just enjoyed relaxing with his family. My mother tells stories of the little gray boat that took them to their cabin, hopefully you brought your own engine. Which my grandfather did. And the many trips they went back and forth to bring the items needed for the next 2 weeks. No running water, no electric - cooking was with a wood burning cook stove, and the refrigerator was an ice chest that they would get a block of ice from the yanks - who had gotten off the lake during the winter - and the ice would supply all the vacationers for the summer. She said they would get homemade bread daily and sometimes pies - which too were made by the yanks. She remembers the work horses coming by in the mornings and her and her sisters feeding them carrots. Baths were taken in the lake. Quite cold she said you soaped up jumped in and jumped right back out. My grandfather spent more than 30 summers up there and enjoyed every minute of it.

4:03 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

From what I've heard from someone who now lives on the lake full-time, the boats have all sunken, the Pine Cottage was destroyed when a tree fell on it. The lodge is closed, but some of the Yank relatives still have houses on the lake.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been to Hawk lake many times growing up. My Father and several of his friends all took their sons to Hawk Lake for a week, usually in July. We stayed in the cabin on the point. Fishing was awesome there! We would drive the logging type roads to the dock where the Yanks had several old wooden boats tied up. We brought our own engines and loaded all of our supplies in the boats. The cabin was across the lake and didn't have any roads leading to it. No electricity or running water and we loved it! I remember there was an outhouse behind the cabin and a trail that led to the Yanks house. In the barn we would get blocks of ice that were covered in sawdust. The old ice chest refrigerator and coolers were the only way to keep things cold. I remember stopping at a grocery store in Buckingham to get food and such. These trips all took place in the 70's. When I was in my early 20's (1987 or so) myself and 3 of my buddies got a hold of Mrs. Yank and we rented the same cabin for 10 days. It was awesome going back as a young adult. Fishing was still great and all we had for entertainment was a battery operated radio. I have never returned and now live in South Carolina. I often wonder what things are like there now.

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ralph and Emma are both dead. A few of their kids still have homes on the lake, but the lodge and cabins are no longer rented. The Pine Cottage was crushed by a fallen tree. The boats have all filled with rain water and have sunken. So sad...

6:28 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I had tried responding a few years ago, but for some reason my comment was not posted. Anyways, Ralph and Emma were my grandparents. Unfortunately Ralph died when I was young so I never got to spend much time with him, but did spent most of my childhood summers at the lake with my grandmother, parents, and what were the last of the cottagers who came. At one time, they actually had 3 cottages, but the one on the far side of the lake was sold with some property. I very fond memories of bailing the boats, cleaning the cottages, and making the wonderful bread you speak of with my grandmother. She was truly an amazing cook. After my grandfather passed away, she started staying with us through the winter just outside of Ottawa.. returning each spring to the lake. This continued until she was well into her 80s when she was unable to stay on her own. I stayed with her one of her last 3 summers at the lake and my cousins stayed with her the other two. Unfortunately she passed in 2008 and is buried with my grandfather at the Inlet church... where the family always went.

Yes, the remaining two cottages are in bad repair. A tree did fall on the Pine cottage, however, the family hopes to repair the Point cottage someday. The family is in the process of building a new cottage in front of the old lodge so that has been taking up most of the time. The boats did not actually sink. They were taken out of the water as they were unsafe.

My family (my mother is Ralph and Emma's daughter) still has another cottage on the lake. We spend as much time there as possible... fishing, swimming, and making memories. I hope that someday, my 2 daughters enjoy it as much as I have. The oldest called Emma.

Michael Connor (son of Linda Yank)

6:05 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Michael, I'm so glad you wrote. I always liked your mother. I was much younger than her, probably by ten years. As I recall she and your father owned her own cottage on the lake which was called Emmit's Cottage. And I remember when they built the cottage in Raven's bay. Your grandfather was an interesting man. He had a heart attack shortly after the children of some guests in the lodge put too much wood in the fire and nearly burned down the lodge.

If you care to hear more stories please write me at

9:24 AM  

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